I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 25 together.
The spread of tourism throughout the regions is a matter for the regional tourism authorities which were established by Bord Fáilte, under the provisions of the tourist traffic Acts, to, inter alia, develop tourism in the regions. I am conscious, however, of concerns expressed in some quarters that the increase in tourism growth in recent years, while above the European and international averages in all regions, is not being equitably distributed.
I highlighted these concerns in my speech, last month, at the Forum 2000 business seminar in Dublin to which Deputy Moynihan-Cronin referred. I used the opportunity to reiterate the fact that, in announcing an additional allocation by way of Supplementary Estimate of up to £5 million this year to Bord Fáilte to facilitate a boost to its 1998 marketing drive, I asked the board to design a series of additional new initiatives, targeted not only at maintaining tourism growth, but also at addressing regional spread. Details of the new initiatives should be available later this month, after I have presented the Supplementary Estimate to the House for approval.
It is clear, of course, that we cannot compel tourists to go to specific areas if they do not wish to do so. I want to emphasise, however, the significant role the tourism authorities have to play in promoting the development of tourism in their areas and in putting in place sound business strategies to successfully market their own areas and facilities.